“Vigilante enabling” act solely retroactive - AKP Spokesman

A state of emergency decree with the force of law that appeared to give a carte blanche for violence against “terrorists” by civilians is solely retroactive, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Mahir Ünal said.

While explaining that the decree was passed in order to protect those who had fought the July 15 coup attempt, “The sentence is already in the decree,” Ünal said. “Where it says "the continuation’ (of the coup) up until the morning of July 16.”

“This expression was used from the perspective of the lawmaking techniques we have here. There is no expression there that encompasses other terror events.”

It was “clear and obvious” that this only legitimised actions that would usually be considered crimes between July 15-16, Ünal said.

“Could certain people please not leverage this into a crisis,” he added.

The decree acquits “people who acted to suppress the July 15 coup attempt and terrorist actions as well as actions that represent the continuation of these.”

None of the lawyers interviewed by the BBC Turkish service yesterday interpreted the wording of the decree as ending on July 16.

Earlier on Monday party deputy leader Cevdet Yılmaz on television appeared to defend a wider interpretation of the decree, saying that “Citizens who do not have links to terror should not be concerned.”

“Who will decide what actions are the continuation of the July 15 coup attempt?” Bar Association Head Metin Feyzioğlu said in a video appeal for the clause to be deleted.

“Citizens are going to shoot one another in the head in the streets … I’m sure this isn’t what you want to happen, is it, Mr. President?”

“Mr. President,” Feyzioğlu said. “How did you publish this clause, which allows civilians to kill one another, and which says ‘Kill! You will not be punished at all’?”

“Even tribal states do not have such a clause.”

Good Party (İYİ) leader Meral Akşener, meanwhile, warned that the clause could be used in conjunction with false news about a coup attempt to provoke a civil war.


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